On the annual day of reflection for victims of transphobia violence, De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has strengthened its commitment to diversity and inclusivity.
Members of the DMU family gathered in the Campus Centre for the launch of the policy on support and procedures for trans, gender-fluid and non-binary staff and students.
The new policy provides a clear statement of the support DMU will provide and the procedures staff should follow when supporting those whose experienced gender is different from that assigned at birth.
The event also marked Transgender Day of Remembrance, honouring the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.
Dr Zowie Davy, Senior Lecturer in LGBTQ Research, said: "Trans and non-binary rights are becoming more prominent at the moment but there tends to be a backlash when marginalised groups get some freedoms - and I fear this will happen.
"This policy enables protections at DMU and we have recourse to do something about it if there is violence or bad attitudes on campus.
"It also allows people who are exploring their gender to do that in a safe space and with the knowledge that there are people in the university they can contact for support or be guided to other forms of support.
"It is a great day."
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Speakers at the event discussed some of the existing and upcoming DMU and De Montfort Students' Union (DSU) projects focusing on unity and inclusion. These include non-binary language and identity projects, Wednesday welfare sessions and gender neutral toilets.
Oliver Phillips, Psychological Wellbeing MSc student, said: "Hopefully the policy will make sure people are more aware about the needs of trans people, such as preferred pronouns."
Gage Holland, the DSU's LGBTQ+ Rep, hopes other universities will follow the lead: "At DMU we continue to protect the rights of transgendered students and staff, showing that this could be the norm for universities across England."
Throughout the morning, students and staff had the chance to chat with members of the LGBT network over tea and cakes, light a candle for Transgender Day of Remembrance and sign the #NoBystanders pledge against bullying and harassment.
Jack Wilkin, vice chair of the LGBT+ Society, added: "The university is driving these policies and it shows DMU to be a hub of diversity."
Posted on Monday 20th November 2017